Neighbor Kid with 21"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by procut, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    This happened about a year ago, but I just thought of it again the other day and thought i would share this story.

    Last April I was at one of my best customers houses doing some spring clean up. The lady who lives next door had just moved in over the winter comes over and asks about mowing her proporty. So I give her an estimate. ($30.00 for a basic city lot) she says "oh, thats really resonable start the next time your here to do my neighbor." I say ok great. So about week later I show up to cut, helper starts on her lawn, while I begin on the neighbors. After about 5 minutes she comes walking out all confused and motions for me. She says "did you get my message?" I say "No", so she replies, "oh well, my neighbor kid from accross the street came and offered to do it, so I told him go ahead. I'll pay you for today, and that will be it, but if i need anything in the future i'll call you" I say fine whatever, so she gives me $30 cash and I walk off kinda pissed.

    Some satifaction did come about a month later when I showed up to cut her neighbors lawn and her neighbor kid was over mowing. He sweating his a$$ off pushing his 21", making nice crooked lines, and even managed to miss grass between passes. My Z Master stipes on the neighbors lawn really showed him up. The best part was when he finished mowing he grabs an ELECTRIC trimmer and trims for about 45 seconds around the front and calls it good.

    Now, I'm sure some members are going to jump down my throat for not using a contract, but rest assured, after this a few other incidents, I have learned my lesson.
     
  2. Eddie B

    Eddie B LawnSite Senior Member
    from gone
    Posts: 859

    Ya know.... one day I was that kid. :(
     
  3. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,297

    well, i will be the first to say that we all start somewhere, i did, however, always did a excellent job.

    too bad you lost the account.
     
  4. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    I know everyone has to start somewhere, but I don't think this kid is in the lawn business or even wants to be. It is my suspision that he only mows this one lawn using what appears to be his dad's 21"
     
  5. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569


    Yeah, but in life that is all some folks want. They could care less about stripes and edging and only want the grass cut so they don't have to do it and they don't care really how it looks only how cheaply it gets done. I even had a older customer ask me one time if we could mow his lawn without the stripes. There will always me the kid with his dad's mower out there and I'msure most all of us started that way in some form or fashion. The only time it bugs me is when some 15 year old doing it says, <b>"I'm in the lawn care BUSINESS"</b> no insurance, no license, no paying taxes, no nothing... but he is in BUSINESS....yeah okay kid,that ain't business that is cutting grass for spending money. ;)

    PLUS, since you are only 18 yourself now and this was a year ago you would have been 16-17 yourself at the time and since you too claim to have been in "business" for 5 years that means you started at "13" so you really aren't that far removed from that "kid" are you? :p
     
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    hey man, why didn't you stop, and show him a better way to do it? teach him the right way, so he can pick up more accts on that block. competition is a good thing. you should have introduced him to lawnsite, then we could all say, "hi, welcome to lawnsite, new people in my neighborhoods are good, the more the merrier."
     
  7. sailinstud420

    sailinstud420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 343

    bobbygedd, your the man. Whether you meant that or not, I never cease to laugh at your posts.
     
  8. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    Thats were you are wrong. I have business licence, insurance, pay taxes and all the nesesarry stuff. I appear much older than I am, there are people I could have knocked over with a feather when I told them I was in High School. Anyways I never went around bragging about how I owned a business I still don't. I see kids talking about how they have a lawn mowing business all the time hate it with a passion. Just look at my equipment, Ford F-250, two zero turn Toros, Stihl accessories. So yes, I am VERY far removed that kid.
     
  9. Hartlawn Services

    Hartlawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    I'm the new guy here, just finding this great website and forum. But in defense of this nameless kid: I was in his shoes not too long ago. While I believe I always did a better job than he seems to be, I started from pretty humble beginnings, also. And now, I help out those younger than me every chance I get.
     
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    I did it 30 years ago, Got like $15.00. Towed the mower behind my 10 speed with the handle under the seat. Dads mower--I bought the gas, about $.50 The rest I put in pocket. What profit!!!

    If the customer is happy with what they pay for than so be it. Find the people who want full service and the manicured look and sell your services to them.
     

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